Technology makes a difference

For students with learning difficulties or disabilities, technology can be truly life changing

Technology makes a difference

14th February 2017

Technology impacts on all our lives, but for students with learning difficulties or disabilities, it can be truly life changing. It not only gives them a voice, independence, and autonomy; it also gives access to things that have become part of everyday life – the internet, social media, mobile phones.

Natspec’s Technology Advisory Group (TAG) has just published five case studies, demonstrating different aspects of the role technology now plays in the lives of students and showing how specialist colleges respond to ever developing opportunities. Four of the case studies cover aspects of the curriculum – independent living, recording progress through RARPA, work experience and social enterprise. The fifth outlines an approach to keeping the college ILT strategy up-to-date and embedded across all staff teams.

The TAG, working in partnership with Jisc, aims to promote accessibility and inclusion across the post-16 sector. Membership includes specialist and GFE colleges with a keen interest in making sure they use technology that really meets the needs and interests of students.

Beaumont’s case study on Independent Living shows how using environmental controls allows students much greater levels of independence, and allows them to control everyday equipment such as the TV, as well as heating and curtains

Royal National College for the Blind’s work on Supporting Outcomes outlines their approach to ensuring that their students are confident about using a wide range of technology – including setting up a café where students teach others to use technology

Treloar College wanted students to be fully engaged in RARPA, and found readily available technology to support them to record their own progress

National Star College used technology to support students on Work experience and enable them to carry out tasks efficiently and with confidence

Finally, Beaumont outlines its approach to reviewing and amending its ILT strategy